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Made in China: G20 and Its Geoeconomic Significance
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China's President Xi Jinping speaks at a news conference after the closing of G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, September 5, 2016. © Damir Sagolj / Reuters / RT

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What has just taken place in Hangzhou, China, is of immense geoeconomic importance. Beijing from the start treated the G20 very seriously; this was designed as China’s party, not the declining West’s. And much less Washington’s.

Outlining the agenda for the discussions, President Xi Jinping went straight to the point also geopolitically, as he set the tone: “The outdated Cold War mentality should be discarded. We urgently need to develop an inclusive, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable new security concept.”

Compare it with Xi’s so-called “four prescriptions”“innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive” – necessary to re-boost the world economy.

Acting like the de facto World Statesman-in-Chief, Xi then proceeded at the summit opening to introduce a quite ambitious package – the result of excruciating planning for months in the run-up to Hangzhou.

The package is designed to propel the global economy back to growth and at the same time install more made in China-friendly rules for global economic architecture and governance.

The target could not be more ambitious: to smash mounting anti-trade and anti-globalization sentiment, especially across the West (from Brexit to Trump), simultaneously pleasing his select audience – arguably the most significant gathering of world leaders in China’s history – yet at the same time, in the long run, aiming at prevailing over US-led Western dominance for good.

That’s a predictable but still remarkable turnaround for China, which benefited like any other nation from globalization – with growth over the past three decades mostly propelled by foreign direct investment and a deluge of exports.

Yet now geoeconomics has reached an extremely worrying zone of turbulence. Since the end of the Cold War in 1989 – and of “history”itself, according to academic simpletons – it’s never bee so dire. Greed led globalization to be “defeated” by inequality. In a nutshell, low inflation – due to global competition – led to the proverbial “expansionary” monetary policies, which inflated housing, education and health care, squeezing the middle class and allowing unlimited wealth flowing to a 1 percent minority of asset owners.

Yet even in de-acceleration, China was responsible for more than 25 percent of global economic growth in 2015. It remains the key global turbine – while at the same time carrying the self-attributed burden of being the representative of the Global South in global economic governance.

China’s outbound investment surged 62 per cent to a record US$100 billion in the first seven months of 2016, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce. But there’s a problem, which economists have dubbed “asymmetric investment environment”: China remains more closed than other BRICS members to foreign investment, especially in service sectors.

BRICS Building

The BRICS-dedicated meeting on the sidelines of the G20 was not spectacular per se. But that’s where Xi detailed China’s G20 agenda and set the tone for their 8th annual summit in Goa next month. According to a report by the BRICS Economic Think Tank at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China must improve these multilateral connections to “have a bigger say and push the West to step back on international rule making”.

It’s a long shot – but it’s already in progress. Zhu Jiejin, from Fudan University in Shanghai, sums it all up; “BRICS is a test of China’s new philosophy in international relations – although the fruit will take a long time to ripen.”

Interconnect or die

Everything in Hangzhou was calculated to the millimeter.

Take, for instance, the seats at the G20 table; classic Ming dynasty tai-shi chairs (“the seats for imperial grand masters”) with soft grey cushions; paper scrolls with light green jade paperweights at either end; a pottery plate with a pen; a green porcelain teacup; a square jade “seal” – almost as large as an imperial seal – which was in fact a microphone switch.

And take the geopolitics of the official picture; Merkel and Erdogan stood close to Xi because Turkey hosted the G20 last year, and in 2017 it’s Germany; perfect symmetry for Putin and Obama; perfect symmetry for two other BRICS members, India’s Modi and Brazil’s Temer The Usurper – at the extremities, but still first row; Japan’s Shinzo Abe in the second row – as well as Italy’s Renzi and Britain’s Theresa “we’re open for business” May.

And why Hangzhou, for that matter? This being China, it all starts with a historical analogy. Hangzhou has been described as “the Homestead of Silk” even before the development of the ancient Silk Road. Now connect it to Xi’s immensely ambitious New Silk Roads – or One Belt, One Road (OBOR) in their official denomination – which some Chinese analysts revel in describing as “a modern symphony of connectivity.”

OBOR is in fact Xi’s “four prescriptions” in practice; economic growth driven by a frenzy of “inclusive” connectivity, especially among developing nations.

The Beijing leadership is totally committed to OBOR as the ultimate geoeconomic transformative drive in Asia-Pacific, tying most of Asia to China – and to Europe; and all of this of course totally intertwined with Xi’s turbo-charged reinterpretation of globalization. That’s why I argue that this is the most overreaching project for the young 21st century: the competing “project” by the US is more of the chaotic same.

Even before Hangzhou, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors met in Chengdu on July 23-24, to discuss global infrastructure connectivity. The communiqué had to state the obvious; greater interconnectivity is a defining demand of the 21st century global economy and the key to promoting sustainable development and shared prosperity.

This is what OBOR is all about. Chinese consultancy company SWS Research estimated in an OBOR report that the overall investment needed for infrastructure construction is close to an astonishing $3.26 trillion.

ORDER IT NOW

Showcase projects include the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), defined by Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi as “the first movement of the symphony of the Belt and Road Initiative”. And then there’s the high-speed railway bonanza – including everything from the China-Thailand railway within the Trans-Asia Railway network as well as the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway in Indonesia.

The house that Ma built

These are the top Chinese players behind OBOR expansion and Xi’s vision of a reformed global economic architecture. It’s impossible to understand where China is heading without considering the role of each and one of them.

And of course there’s Hangzhou itself – a tech hub excelling in information economy and intelligent manufacturing.

Arguably the greatest star of this G20, apart from Xi, was Jack Ma, the founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, established in 1999, listed in New York in 2014 and the embodiment of the several thousand Chinese companies that form the new “Chinese imprint”.

Alibaba’s HQ is in Hangzhou. And not by accident everyone – from Canada’s Justin Trudeau to Indonesia’s Joko Widodo – visited the company’s Xixi campus, guided by Ma, with an eye to promoting their nation’s products through the platform of Alibaba. Nearby there’s Dream Town – a center that helped spring up more than 680 Chinese startups in just a year.

Before the G20 there was a B20 – a business summit, focused on the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) – where wily Ma, admitting “we are living at a crucial time when people dislike globalization or free trade”, forcefully promoted the advent of an electronic world trade platform, eWTP. Ma described eWTP as “a mechanism for public-private dialogue in the development of cross border e-trade”, which will “help small and medium-sized enterprises, developing countries, women and the young generation participate in the global economy.”

Also not by accident, Indonesia’s Widodo invited Ma to be an economic advisor. Indonesia has no less than 56 million SMEs, as the President noted; so one of his priorities is to boost the cooperation between SMEs in Indonesia and Alibaba to help them enter the Chinese and global market.

Of course all it’s not a rose garden. Among the five task forces at the B20 we could find dodgy players such as Laurence Fink, head of mega-fund BlackRock, sitting at the finance committee, or Dow Chemical at commerce and investment. Still, the key – lofty – target was and remains to help SMEs in the developing world to go global.

What was really decided at the G20 will only become visible long-term. Xi closed the summit stressing the G20 has agreed to promote trade multilateralism and go against protectionism (ample evidence to the contrary, as it stands), while at the same time developing the first framework rules for cross-border investment (will everyone implement them?)

He also said the G20 agreed to continue reform of the IMF and the World Bank to give more say to emerging markets (not with Hillary or Trump in power).

China’s “message” anyway was unmistakable; it has set a geoeconomic path for the future and it’s lobbying hard for scores of nations to join on a win-win framework. And whatever the future of the graphically confrontational “pivot to Asia”– the TPP “NATO on trade” arm included – Beijing won’t sit silent to US intimidation, or threats to what it considers China’s vital security interests.

The G20 in Hangzhou showed China is ready to show off its economic clout and to exercise a much more active role in geoeconomics. It’s clear that Beijing’s prefers to play the game in a multilateral trade system based around the WTO. Washington, instead, has been trying to rig the game with new “rules”; TPP and TTIP.

He Weiwen, from the China Society for WTO Studies, may have hit the nail on the (trading) head when he observed, “The US said earlier that it can’t let China set the rules, but it seems its own rule-setting isn’t wining hearts as it only sees its own interests.”

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). His latest book is Empire of Chaos. He may be reached at [email protected].

(Republished from RT by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Economics, Foreign Policy • Tags: BRICs, China 
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  1. Rehmat says:

    In July 2014, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi told Russian president Vladmir Putin at BRICSS summit: “Even a child in India if asked who India’s best friend is will reply it’s Russia because Russia has been with India in times of crisis.”

    However, lately, India’s extremist Hindu leaders have started trusting Israel more for its aggressive military power than Russia or the United States.

    Modi’s recent Made in India dream to pull 60% of country’s population from planet’s most abject poverty, cannot work with country’s dependence on foreign energy sources. India imports 80% of it oil, 30% of its gas and 20% of its coal needs from abroad – mostly from Russia and Iran…..

    https://rehmat1.com/2014/12/02/indias-best-friends/

  2. Che Guava says:

    Mr. Escobar,

    I always appreciate your articles.

    Of the so-called BRICS, the B is in the midst of a constitutional coup d’etat, supported by the USA, the I is generally drifting into the US orbit in terms of geopolitics, the S is a token ingredient, right now with a prez. who is a ‘big man’ in the same sense as a dominant male gorilla, multiple wives, etc.

    The C: the inner party of the CPC is a vehicle for enrichment of the grandchildren and great-grand-children of party leaders in the distant past, and of many party leaders.

    Xi would like to be seen to be doing something about that, but he won’t really, his own children are prime beneficiaries, even though it seems that he would prefer it not to be the case, but if he had any real ethics or principles, he could put an end to that rubbish.

    Yet he chooses not to.

    If you govern in the name of a communist party to institute a kleptocracy rather than a mix of meritocracy and support for those doing the hard work, it is bound to fail at some time.

    Agree on much in general, the trains to Spain are a very interesting achievement. The snub of Obama on arrival and the reaction to that were pretty funny, as are the seating arrangements you describe.

    • Replies: @Joe Wong
    , @denk
  3. HdC says:

    “If you govern in the name of a communist party to institute a kleptocracy rather than a mix of meritocracy and support for those doing the hard work, it is bound to fail at some time.”…

    Methinks that describes our western governments very well, also, don’t you think? HdC

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  4. @HdC

    hehe, pointing fingers when a mirror serves just as well if not better.

  5. Wally says: • Website

    Compare it with Xi’s so-called “four prescriptions” – “innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive” – necessary to re-boost the world economy.

    “Inclusive” in the sense that the US & Europe degrades it’s workforce with low IQ, low skilled ‘immigrants’ thus allowing the plum hi-tech & manufacturing sectors to be retained in China.

  6. Joe Wong says:
    @Che Guava

    It seems you cannot stand the achievements China made in the last few decades while the American and their ex-imperialist parasite allies decline into oblivion due to their twisted greed and corrupted societies.

    You should know if China is as bad as your troll, it should decline like the greedy and morally bankrupted USA, Japan and its gang of thugs not on the rise, but China is on the rise and it has overtaken the USA economically and in R&D. Your troll proves you are jealous, resentful and fear of China’s achievements.

    Bad mouthing only can soothe your frustration via delusion, but it cannot reverse the decline of the USA, Japan and its allies.

    • Replies: @Avery
    , @Che Guava
    , @Avery
  7. “Your troll proves you are jealous, resentful and fear of China’s achievements”

    and your troll speaks volumes as well. I’m certainly not jealous or fear China’s achievements….that’s a silly argument….what i do have to realize is the cost to my livelihood that has been destroyed to China “competition” i put that in quotes because how can you compete with a communist country where profits seem to be a secondary concern.

    also, once the Yuan was accepted into the SDR basket China went on a devaluation cycle that has gutted my industry further,

    I’m facing bankruptcy, that’s what I’m fearful of.

    back to the profits story. there are projects where we get quotes from China that are less than what just the steel costs here in the states. There’s no competing with state subsidized industry.

  8. utu says:

    Will Chinese elites betray Chinese? Will Chinese oligarchy be coopted by the international western oligarchy?

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  9. @utu

    not co-opt but more like the chinese elite will just become the same as the current western elites. it is inevitable. they want to stand at the top together, not as servants like japan.

    they would love to be like the western counter parts, because the western system has neutered their populace, the 99.99%. where as they are deadly afraid of the chinese peasantry.

    • Replies: @utu
  10. utu says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    Japanese for reasons I do not understand are viewed as anti-Semites while about Chinese we read that they are fascinated by Jews in positive way. There is a big trend of intermarriage between Jews and Chinese (tiger moms) that produce slant-eyed Jews. Possibly this will help to bring the two elites together.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  11. @utu

    they are fascinated by the jews because a small tribe of people can actually exert an enormous amount of influence on the entire western world. the chinese are still playing catch up, and the jews are the best to learn from atm regarding certain aspects like information control.

  12. Avery says:
    @Joe Wong

    {It seems you cannot stand the achievements China made in the last few decades……}

    China would have made a fraction of the achievements it has made, if the US that you are looking down on had not opened up her rich markets to the Chinese producers.

    Same previously with Japan and then South Korea.

    Japaneses, South Koreans, and Chinese are smart, hard working, enterprising people. But if US had not opened up her markets and had prohibited US businesses from transferring all sorts of technological know-how, how far could those three counties have gone on their own?

    {…but it cannot reverse the decline of the USA….}

    People have underestimated US and Americans before.
    And the rumors of the death of US have been greatly exaggerated, as Mark Twain remarked.

    When Chinese students stop coming to study in US universities, you can crow about ‘the decline of the USA,’

    [Chinese Students in America: 300,000 and Counting]
    [More Chinese students are studying in the U.S. than ever before.] (2015)
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/11/16/china-us-colleges-education-chinese-students-university/

    {Now, Chinese students are by far the most visible international presence at many universities across the United States, and their numbers continue to grow. This year, during the 2014-2015 academic year, the number of Chinese students studying stateside was 304,040, a 10.8 percent increase over the 2013-2014 academic year, according to a just released report by the nonprofit Institute of International Education (IIE). This is the sixth year in a row that China has been the leading place of origin for international students in the United States. Out of the more than 974,000 international students currently in the United States, almost one in three is now Chinese.}

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  13. Che Guava says:
    @Joe Wong

    You misinterpret my words in a very strange way.

    My comment was in no way what you say, from your user name, I would guess that you are a very inept and amateur propagandist, Lord only knows with what motive.

  14. Che Guava says:
    @Avery

    Avery,

    Either ‘Joe Wong’ is simply a troll or a very stupid US citizen of Chinese descent.

    Srsly, read his words, the former is clearly the case.

    Take care to not reply to idiots! Then again, I also don’t have much to say at times, so I say nothing.

    I do find Hillary’s breakdown problems very entertaining,

    So, we are now supposed to believe that her coughing fits were caused by pneumonia, why were they a constant until last weekend, but nobody in MSM noticed.

    To how many supporters has Hillary problems pneumonia?

    • Replies: @Avery
  15. Avery says:
    @Che Guava

    {Take care to not reply to idiots}

    Che: if a falsehood goes unchallenged, uniformed readers might take it is fact.

    I don’t mind replying, even if the poster is an ‘idiot’.
    So if there is something I care about – in this case America – and if I happen to read the post, then I’ll counter or debunk.

    All in good fun and as a public service.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
    , @Che Guava
  16. Avery says:
    @Joe Wong

    {Bad mouthing only can soothe your frustration via delusion, but it cannot reverse the decline of the USA,…}

    PART2.

    GDP – per capita (PPP):
    USA: $55,800 (2015 est.)
    Japan: $38,100 (2015 est.)
    China: $14,100 (2015 est.)

    http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/chinese-immigrants-united-states
    {Chinese immigrants are now the third-largest foreign-born group in the United States after Mexicans and Indians, numbering more than 2 million and comprising 5 percent of the overall immigrant population in 2013.}
    {Approximately one-quarter of all Chinese emigrants settle in the United States, with other popular destinations including Canada (896,000), South Korea (657,000), Japan (655,000), Australia (547,000), and Singapore (457,000), according to mid-2013 estimates by the United Nations Population Division.}

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/07/07/chinese-immigrants-largest-column/29784905/
    {Chinese immigrants now make up the largest single group of arrivals a year into this country. The Census Bureau says China replaced Mexico as the top country of origin for immigrants to the U.S. in 2013.}

    If US is declining, why are all those (mainland) Chinese immigrating to US?
    Are they crazy or something?
    You know, desperately trying to book a passage on the Titanic?

    EPILOGUE.

    Yes China has larger GDP than US: And?
    What is the point of a larger GDP, better economy: it is to make the lives of a country’s citizens better.
    Most Chinese slave away in mega-factories for pittance to produce a large GDP for the country. Who benefits?
    Chinese worker suicides and attempted suicides (e.g. Foxconn) are common occurrence.

    China has to have a GDP 4X that of US for its people to have the same standard of living as US. Is that even possible?

  17. denk says:
    @Che Guava

    *Xi would like to be seen to be doing something about that, but he won’t really, his own children are prime beneficiaries, even though it seems that he would prefer it not to be the case, but if he had any real ethics or principles, he could put an end to that rubbish.

    Yet he chooses not to.*

    You seem to have missed the several dozens of high profile corruption charges on top level officials in recent years ?

    *If you govern in the name of a communist party to institute a kleptocracy rather than a mix of meritocracy and support for those doing the hard work, it is bound to fail at some time.*

    I’m not an expert on the CCP, but from what I gathered, while Chinese leaders aint ‘elected’ like in murkka, their accession was based on their performance on previous postings. Xi was previously a governor of the Fujian province.
    So Chinese leaders actually rose through the ranks with proven records.
    If you ask me, this looks more meritocratic than the fake ‘election’ process touted in the west. ?

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  18. Che Guava says:
    @denk

    Agreed, to some extent, denk.

    However, the biggest corruption case near the top level was against a neo-Maoist with aspirations to the leadership, at least to the Central Committee and Politbureau.

    The charges seemed trumped up for political reasons to me.

    The govt. under Xi has prosecuted many lower down the tree, but it seems only to be when they have behaved in a way that blatantly enrages the people they are supposed to represent, and only if the rage concerned is not against a favoured ‘developmemt’ project.

    IMHO, Xi’s heart is in the right place, but it does not stop his offspring from taking advantage of his position, and that is wrong.

    You are surely correct about relative degrees of meritocracy.

    In Japan now, we have a school for politicians, most of the younger ones from both the Liberal Democratic party (neither liberal nor democratic) and the Democratic party (pretty much meaningless since P.M. Kan was deposed, with the big earthquake and wave as the excuse, as if he had personal responsibility for them) go to the same school.

    It is a bad joke.

    • Replies: @denk
  19. Anonimo says:

    >The package is designed to propel the global economy back to growth and at the same time install more made in China-friendly rules for global economic architecture and governance.

    This is such BS Chinese don’t want to help anyone except themselves. The international community needs to stop all the abusive trade from China. I think the countries more affected by China are not even advanced economies but other middle income economies, we just can’t compete with those subsidies. Chinese are insane if they think we’ll just let them destroy our industry, to help in their quest to dethrone the US. I think they’ll manage to become a developed nation, with a GDP per capita on the lower spectrum of advanced economies. Though they’ll never have the hegemony the US had in the last decade two decades, right now not even the US does.

    • Replies: @denk
  20. denk says:
    @Che Guava

    Thank you for your input.

    So far as I can see,
    China ,warts and all, remains a positive force.
    Unlike the Yanks, the Chinese harbor no intention to rule the world, they’r just trying to survive in a harsh
    and hostile planet ruled from Washington with a death grip.

    Beijin’s foreign policy is benign and inclusive, as opposed to murkka’s ‘You’r either with me or against me’ zero sum mindset.
    Lets hope the nationalists in China prevail over the pro West trojan horse .
    With Russia and China, there’s hope yet.

    As regard Joe Wong, here’s a bit of context.
    There’s a virtual army of trolls infiltrating the cyber world , its sole purpose is to demonise China, you could find many in this forum.
    Joe prolly mistook you as one of those.
    Bit of misunderstanding there I think, no hard feeling !

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  21. denk says:
    @Anonimo

    *This is such BS Chinese don’t want to help anyone except themselves. *

    Unlike Yanks, the Chinese never pretend to be Santa Claus in the first place.
    They give something and expect a reasonable return, this might be an alien concept to Uncle Scam.
    Hey you can actually pay for your stuffs , no need to send in the jackals !

    *The international community needs to stop all the abusive trade from China. *

    Ask the international community whether they prefer China’s way or the ‘Economic Hit man’.

    As for that other bogus ‘international community’, aka ‘five eyes’, they have been busy wrecking Chinese investments all over the world with very abusive tactics no doubt.

    *. Though they’ll never have the hegemony the US had in the last decade two decades, *

    BIg deal , stop projecting yourself !
    that ‘master of universe’ BS has never been China’s cup of tea.
    You can take it back and stuff it up…..

    *right now not even the US does.*

    Is it so difficult to share the planet with others as equals ??

  22. Che Guava says:
    @denk

    Thx for the reply, no hard feelings on either count.

    Although Mr. Wong may make a better choice of targets, I cannot see how he chose me as an enemy

    Right now, I am in a park that is a popular site where ‘Pokkemon Go’ activity is concentrated , there are forty or so zombies lurching about, staring at their screens.

    Cheers,

    Che.

    • Replies: @denk
  23. Che Guava says:
    @Avery

    Avery,

    I always want to vsit the USA some tlme. However, the idea of the TSA experience at the airports is off-putting.

    Also, even if totally sober, I am not sure that l can get used to right-side driving, have trouble with it in video games at first.

    From news and fiction, I gather that the long-distance bus terminals there are terribly dangerous, and one can’t go anywhere much by rail.

    Still, I want to visit ‘fly-over country’ if I ever have the chance.

    Not much interested in Noo Yawk, LA, SF, etc.

    Glad that you care about the place,
    what do you think about the recent policy for b

  24. Che Guava says:
    @Avery

    Avery,

    I always want to vsit the USA some tlme. However, the idea of the TSA experience at the airports is off-putting.

    Also, even if totally sober, I am not sure that l can get used to right-side driving, have trouble with it in video games at first.

    From news and fiction, I gather that the long-distance bus terminals there are terribly dangerous, and one can’t go anywhere much by rail.

    Still, I want to visit ‘fly-over country’ if I ever have the chance.

    Not much interested in Noo Yawk, LA, SF, etc.

    Glad that you care about the place,
    what do you think about the recent policy for cutting the tops off mountains?

    My own opinion is that it is horrid.

    • Replies: @Avery
    , @denk
  25. Avery says:
    @Che Guava

    {what do you think about the recent policy for cutting the tops off mountains?}

    Please explain.

    PS: I share your dislike of TSA.
    I avoid flying, unless absolutely necessary.
    The whole TSA “For Your Own Safety” baloney is a farce and worse.
    Children, handicapped, etc are harassed and humiliated, yet, Gov testers bring guns, knives, simulated explosives on board an airplane under the noses of TSA drones.

    It’s a sick joke.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  26. denk says:
    @Che Guava

    I’m a hardcore ‘conspiracy theorist’ when it comes to uncle scam.

    Empire watch rule 1…
    For every conflict/carnage/mayhem, assume uncle scam guilty until proven innocent.

    What do you make of this….?
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/pokemon-go-the-cia-totalitarianism-and-the-future-of-surveillance/5538709

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  27. denk says:
    @Che Guava

    *I always want to vsit the USA some tlme. However, the idea of the TSA experience at the airports is off-putting. *

    Be warned !
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/11/i-feel-you/

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  28. Che Guava says:
    @denk

    Thx for the link.

    Interesting, given Niantic’s being a part of Google and having received CIA cash, it surely is likely to be at least a test of what the article describes.

    It is a shame that Nintendo and the Pocket Monster Company go along with it.

    As an aside, I have not seen my friendly acquaintances in the small park for weeks, the zombies keep them away!

    Thx again.

  29. Che Guava says:
    @denk

    Thanks for that, too.

    Many of the comments are very poor, so I stopped reading there.

    Still warm enough for the insect musicians to make great sounds, I look around, seem the only non-zomby here, except the occasional taxi driver on a break, and a couple of young lovers, otherwise only Pocket Monster zombies, I sit here because I love the insect musicians.

    I want to make a vid of the zombies tomorrow night.

  30. Che Guava says:
    @Avery

    Avery,

    I gather, from MSM sources, that *at least* in the Dakotas and parts of Appalachia, cutting the tops off mountains to get at coal seams or minerals without the inconvenience of tunnels has become common (at least not uncommon) practice in the USA.

    That is what I mean.

    • Replies: @Avery
    , @Sam J.
  31. Avery says:
    @Che Guava

    Sorry, completely oblivious of that: way off my radar.
    If it’s being done, it sure sounds bad.
    Wouldn’t be surprised: Fed Gov will come down hard on little guys, but big polluters somehow manage to get a pass, or get fined a nominal amount, and they are in the clear.

  32. Sam J. says:
    @Che Guava

    Cutting the top off of mountains is a good thing. The area has almost no flat level spots so the cut off mountains are used to add flat spots for buildings and recreation like baseball parks. Local governments approved of and requested the flat spots. This flatting of mountains might be a problem in an area with no mountains but if you have too many mountains the flat level spots are nice.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
    , @Che Guava
  33. Che Guava says:
    @Sam J.

    So, following that logic to its conclusion, we need a billiard-ball Earth?

    You were also disingenuous to avoid stating any connection with mining.
    It is not being done to make dull playgrounds and dull recreational areas, at least until the mining is finished.

  34. Che Guava says:
    @Sam J.

    Cutting the top off of mountains is a good thing.

    I disagree, I know a little of the physical geog. of the area, why can’t those recreational areas be made under the feet of the mountains?

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